Quick-Casual Restaurant Donates $1.5 Million to Make-A-Wish Throughout Four-Year Alliance

ATHENS, Ga. — In honor of the thousands of children the restaurant chain serves every year, Zaxby’s has aligned with Make-A-Wish in 2014 to help grant the wishes of 55 children with life-threatening medical conditions by donating $450,000. In the past four years, Zaxby’s has donated more than $1.5 million to Make-A-Wish to help fulfill the wishes of approximately 175 wish kids.

“Inspired by stories of courage, heart and never-give-up attitudes of these children, Zaxby’s has increased our commitment to Make-A-Wish every year since 2011 and we are honored to be part of lifechanging moments,” said Zach McLeroy, CEO and co-founder of Zaxby’s. “We look forward to celebrating Zaxby’s 25th anniversary in 2015 by increasing our contribution to Make-A-Wish for the fifth consecutive year.”

As of Oct. 13, Zaxby’s website features two of the wishes it has helped grant at Visitors to the site may view a video series, filmed by Zaxby’s, that captures each child’s personal experiences and emotions during the granting of his or her wish. The videos highlight the following stories:

  • Sophie, 9, with Batten’s Disease wished to have a service dog. The wish was special to the restaurant chain as both of Sophie’s parents are team members at a Lexington, Ky., Zaxby’s location. “It means a lot to work for a company that cares about and provides so much for kids like Sophie,” said Heidi Bigelow, Sophie’s mother and Zaxby’s associate.
  • Isaac, 6 with Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome wished to be a Coast Guard rescue pilot. For a little boy who spent hours looking out his hospital window at the helipad, Isaac wanted to experience that life-saving thrill for himself. “Without the [Elizabeth City, N.C.] Coast Guard and Zaxby’s, I don’t think my son would have ever had an opportunity to see his wish come true,” said Isaac’s parents.

As a further extension of the alliance, Zaxby’s licensees are committed to the communities they serve, and have been advocates for the organization for many years, holding fundraisers and wish parties for wish kids. In honor of Zaxby’s 25th anniversary, the brand has announced that next year it will be donating $500,000 to help grant the wishes of approximately 60 more kids.

Zaxby’s currently operates more than 655 locations in 15 states — Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia.


Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true has positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illness, and their parents say these experiences  help strengthen the entire family. Headquartered in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world's leading children's charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 25,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 38 minutes. It has granted more than 254,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 14,000 in 2013 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at to learn more.



Founded in 1990, Zaxby's is still led by founder Zach McLeroy. The brand is committed to serving delicious chicken fingers, wings, sandwiches and salads in a fun, offbeat atmosphere where customers are considered friends. Zaxby's iconic Signature Sandwich won Thrillist's 2021 Fasties Award for Best Fried Chicken Sandwich. Zaxby's has grown to more than 900 locations in 17 states and is headquartered in Athens, Georgia. For more information, visit or


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